Five Great Projects for a Stay-at-Home Day


Stay-at-home orders continue to remain in effect, at least for a little bit longer. Feelings of going stir-crazy can really be setting in. Temperatures are getting warmer by the day and the Great Outdoors will soon be open for adventure. With the remaining downtime, John Bennett shares five great projects for a stay-at-home day.


Inspect and clean your firearms

My guns are among my most valued possessions, especially my black powder muzzleloaders, and even though I intend to clean them after each shooting session, sometimes it just does not happen. One of my friends once told me that, “My shotgun gets cleaned at the end of each hunting season.” He is a waterfowler, so you can imagine the abuse his shotgun takes. I confess to being guilty of not cleaning my SKS 7.62 x 39 rifle as often as I should, so likely my next task will be to disassemble it and give it a good scrubbing.

If you own a muzzle loader, remove the nipple, check the breech plug, inspect every nook and cranny for rust and black powder corrosion, clean any imperfections and coat the bore with a rust-inhibiting solution such as Thompson Center Bore Butter. Then, about once a month, run patches down the bore, look for signs of rust and re coat it.

Recently, new products have appeared on the market that not only remove copper fouling from your center fire arms, but also plastic wad and lead build up. There virtually are no gun-fouling problems that cannot be solved. Most modern firearms will last a lifetime if they are cleaned and maintained properly.


Repair hunting clothing and boots

As a fisherman and a duck hunter, I spend lots of time in the water, sometimes almost up to the middle of my chest. As a result, my boots, waders and clothes take a beating from rocks, briers, mud, tree limbs, etc. My neoprene waders do a good job of keeping me dry and warm, but they are very susceptible to snags and damage. And a new pair is not cheap! Fortunately, they are pretty easy to repair. Most online stores and retailers sell wader repair kits with clear instructions. I have had good results by sealing snags and tears with Gorilla glue, and cracks in the boot portions with a healthy spray or two of black Flex-Seal. This is an amazing product that can seal up about anything.

At the end of the season, jackets and pants always seem to need attention. Buttons pop off, seams begin to separate, and zippers pull loose. Most of these problems can be attended to with a needle and thread that is strong enough to stand up to the extremes of weather.


Reload some shells

Have you ever found yourself in this situation? It’s Friday night, and your buddies call asking you to join them Saturday morning for a few rounds of skeet. You diligently search your ammo closet and find nothing but duck and goose loads. The stores are closed, and your chances of shooting with your friends look pretty dim. Now is the time to get out that box of hulls. Visually inspect each one for signs of cracks or signs of wear. Sort your primers, select the proper powder and wads and run off a few hundred rounds. When you think it is safe to leave the house, you are prepared.

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This could become a family affair if you have kids and want to get them involved in the shooting sports. Observe all safety rules, set up some snacks and let them pull the lever. Consider taking your kids along on a future outing. Be sure to let them pop off a few of the shells that they helped create.


Make your own fishing lures

Much of my smallmouth bass fishing involves wading local rivers and casting in-line spinners. They create just the right amount of flash and vibration to attract these voracious feeders. The fact that they are fooled by something that I created with my own hands gives me a great deal of satisfaction. This project also provides a great way to get your kids involved. 

Recently, I sent for and received two in-line spinner kits from Jann’s Netcraft in Maumee, Ohio. I plan to give a pack to each of my grandsons and help them make a few neat spinners. I have dealt with Jann’s for decades and always have been satisfied. They offer kits for several types of lures, as well as the finished products. Contact them at 1-800-638-2723 or go online at You and your “youngins” can have a lot of fun making lures and then catching fish on them this summer.



Did you get some extra money or gift cards in your stocking last Christmas? Use that good fortune to buy some items that you have always wanted. I’m always on the lookout for some ammo, especially for my 7.62 x 25 Tokarev pistol, which can be somewhat hard to find. Or, how about a new knife? I recently purchased a Cold Steel SRK for just under $40.00. This is an excellent knife for hunting, bushcraft projects, or just some down home whittlin’. Let your imagination be your guide.

There you go: five great projects for a stay-at-home day. Have fun, stay healthy, and get out of the house when you feel the time is right. Most importantly, enjoy the Great Outdoors!


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